2012 Spring Update

Happy Easter or Passover!  As we celebrate Spring, it is a chance to focus on renewal and what we can do to make things better.  With that in mind, I hope that this season’s update is useful to you.

You can read recent coverage on the campaign from the Upper East Side’s local paper Our Town which said:

“He’s positioning himself as a young voice, a progressive choice, someone who has worked tirelessly, frenetically even, on so many civic issues it makes the résumés of some sitting council members seem paltry by comparison.”

Read more at http://kallosforcouncil.com/press-clip/new-york-press-our-town-east-side-lifelong-upper-east-sider-aims-lappin%E2%80%99s-seat-megan-finn


Description: EffectiveNY_thumbnail-400x300Constitutional Change Road Show

This week EffectiveNY.org is launching an educational Upstate Tour from April 10 through April 12 with evening Town Hall Meetings on Constitutional Change held at:

The New Roosevelt Foundation (Non-Profit) launched the Citizens’ Committee for an Effective Constitution, a coalition of opposites, building EffectiveNY  to host a public discussion of the New York State Constitution and serve as a non-partisan platform for how to best reform the constitution.  New Yorkers deserve a more effective State Constitution for a more effective state government, a more effective civic process and a more effective economy.


Transparency for New Ethics Commission

New Roosevelt founder Bill Samuels was featured last week in the Wall Street Journal advocating for greater transparency for the new Joint Commission on Public Ethics, which recently refused to release any records on its vote to hire a new Executive Director.  Susan Lerner of Common Cause-NY joined Samuels, in calling for greater transparency, especially where state freedom of information law would require any other agency to release the data but also hold votes in public.

Transparency in government remains at the core of the mission of New Roosevelt and my previous work at the Open Government Foundation.  In that role I testified and advised on Open Data legislation in the City Council and Assembly to make as much government data as possible available to the public in computer readable form in as close to real time as possible.  The legislation carried by Council Member Gale Brewer in the New York City Council passed on February 29, 2012, and I look forward to the opportunity to participate in its rollout.  You can read more at http://www.thenewyorkworld.com/2012/02/29/council-votes-today-on-law-to-liberate-most-of-new-york-citys-data/#more-3783


Legal Hackathon

Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy (BLIP) Clinic: Legal Hack-a-thonOn Sunday, April 15, 2012 please join me as I serve as a program participant in Brooklyn Law Incubator & Policy (BLIP) Clinic’s in the first ever NYC Legal Hack-a-thon: a chance to engage lawyers, advocates, and technologists in creating innovative regulations and applications. This Legal Hackathon explores methods to address the evolving needs of governments, entrepreneurs, and advocacy groups in today’s technologically convergent world.  When it comes to legislation in government we are still operating within an mid-20th century legal reality despite society’s rapid advancements taking place in the new Information Age. 

To learn more or register please visit http://legalhackathon.blipclinic.org/

It is my hope that I once in the City Council I can institutionalize innovative programs like this one to help shape a new reality for how citizens can re-write laws to serve the people they are meant to govern.

P.S. participants in my panel will be eligible to win a $100 gift certificate or an iPad 3 from http://WhyNot.ly


Discussion at NYU Institute for Public Knowledge

On Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 6:00PM please join me as I serve as a moderator and panelist in a discussion on the role of field organizing in modern elections at NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge on the 5th Floor at 20 Cooper Square, New York, NY 10003.  This discussion follows a Book Salon where I reviewed and hosted a discussion with members of FireDogLake.com on Rasmus Kleis Nielsen’s new book “Ground Wars.”  You can read my review as well as the previous discussion at http://fdlbooksalon.com/2012/03/18/fdl-book-salon-welcomes-rasmus-nielsen/



Parkinson’s Unity Walk

On Saturday, April 28, 2012, please support me and my mother, Dr. June Kallos, who has Parkinson's Disease, as we participate in the Parkinson's Unity Walk. Both my grandparents on my mother’s side faced the same challenge.  100% of your donations will go to research to find a cure for this devastating neurodegenerative disease.  You can sponsor or join our team at http://UnityWalk2012.kintera.org/TeamKallos

For those of you facing a similar challenge in your own family, The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research offers resources for living with the disease.  I and my family are personally grateful for all the assistance we have received from Lenox Hill Neighborhood House and the Carter Burden Center for the Aging.  Additionally, I am happy to work with you to locate a non-profit to assist you in securing Social Security Disability benefits and other government funded support for your loved one.


Expanding Bike Share

Bike ShareLaunching this Summer Bike Share will place 10,000 bikes at 600 stations in Manhattan south of 79th Street and in Northern Brooklyn.  An annual pass that will cost about $90 or about the cost of a monthly MetroCard will entitle participants to an unlimited number of 30 minute trips per day at no additional charge.  Options for “satellite” programs in Queens, Staten Island and in the Bronx are also on the table.

I am working with Roosevelt Island Residents AssociationCommunity Board 8 Manhattan, and Transportation Alternatives to advocate for the inclusion of Roosevelt Island in the next if not initial Bike Share rollout. 

On April 4, 2012, Roosevelt Island Residents Association issued a letter in support of participating in Bike Share and the Transportation Committee of Community Board 8 Manhattan placed the item on their agenda for its May meeting.

Please join us we advocate for an improved transportation infrastructure for Roosevelt Island at the CB8M Transportation Committee meeting at 6:30PM on May 2, 2012 at the Einhorn Auditorium of Lenox Hill Hospital at 131 East 76th Street between Lexington and Park Avenues (Please check CB8M.com to confirm date and location). 


See the Stars at Carl Schurz Park

Celebrate International Astronomy Day one day early by joining the Amateur Astronomers Association as they host an Astronomy Observation at Carl Shurz Parkobservation session at Carl Schurz Park, after the sun sets at 7:48pm, on Friday, April 27, 2012.  Telescopes will be assembled along John Finley Walk near 86th Street overlooking the East River on the esplanade.  This will be a great evening to see Mars, Saturn, and Venus.  The event will be cancelled if cloudy and you can see the event status as well as learn more at http://www.aaa.org/carlschurz

Math and science education are an essential investment for today’s youth.  Programs such as this one hosted by the AAA as well as the Astronomy Picture of the Day hosted at http://apod.nasa.gov are a great way to supplement, grow and nurture a child’s desire to literally reach for the stars.



Photos and Media Coverage of Birthday Leap Day Celebration

Special thanks to those of you who joined in celebrating my birthday on leap day in support of small businesses along the Second Avenue Subway construction and my run for City Council.  Thank you for your well wishes, love, friendship and support over the years.

Pictures from the event are available on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150721381961281.452714.78885826280

Media coverage and video of the event is available at http://kallosforcouncil.com/press-clip/new-york-observers-politickerny-benjamin-kallos-announces-upper-east-side-council-campaig







Redistricting Fundraiser

Please join co-chairs and hosts many of whom you probably already know or should meet at a discussion on redistricting to support my campaign for City Council that has already garnered media attention as unique and substantive.  Our special guest is Mark Favors the lead plaintiff in Favors v. Cuomo who is seeking fair redistricting in 2012 to protect democracy and civil rights.  This lawsuit is responsible for the new congressional lines and will likely the lines for the New York State Senate.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

7PM to 9PM

Traffic Bar, 986 2nd Ave


Buy your ticket now at https://kallosforcouncil.com/civicrm/event/register?reset=1&id=21